Read: Daniel 1:8
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
To many of us, the phrase “peer pressure”, usually refers to the pressure to conform that young men and women experience in their teens, right? But, if we’re honest we are all pressured to conform at one level or another well into adulthood. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure the pressure to go along ever leaves us entirely.
For Daniel and his peers, the food they ate (or didn’t) was an important element to their faith. But instead of compromising to get along in his new surroundings, we read that “Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself.” He was firmly determined to stay true to his faith and that meant avoiding compromise, but it’s important to note that Daniel didn’t just say no, he presented a plan. Instead of eating from the table of Nebuchadnezzar, he asked for a diet of vegetables and water for a period of ten days as a test.
Could someone from the outside look at our lives and see that same kind of resolve exemplified by Daniel?
Some time ago, I talked with a small group of men about the pressures we face to conform to the “moral relativity” in our own culture. At times we may be pressured to compromise our integrity in the workplace. We may face the temptation of a relationship that will lead to ruin. We may face any number of challenges, but the question is how will we respond? What will we do in the moment?
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he gives us a clear call to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Easier said than done, right? The only way to achieve that kind of walk is to be personally committed to Biblical standards and wholly dependent on God’s grace to be lived out in our own lives….like Daniel.